Finding the Right Fit: An Overview of Common Homeownership Assistance Programs

When we started Landed, our goal was to create a way for essential professionals to access homeownership and put roots in their communities. While Landed has been and can be a transformative tool for many, we are aware that our program is not a fit for all homebuyers. In fulfilling our mission to help educators stay, occasionally, our work gravitates towards helping customers find other programs that may be better suited to their current situation. Fortunately, as the challenge of accessing homeownership persists, more and more programs for down payment assistance are now available.

These programs vary in their eligibility requirements - for both the homebuyer as well as the properties eligible for purchase - which makes it challenging to keep track. To help our homebuyers determine which homeownership program is the best fit for their needs, we created an overview of common homeownership programs, highlighting the program eligibility questions we hear most frequently. For a comprehensive guide to eligibility requirements, please visit the corresponding website for each program.

Which homeownership assistance program is the right fit for you?
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When does it make sense to use Landed? In summary, Landed can be a great fit for an educator that is able to contribute their own 10% down payment and wants to maximize their options while sharing in the risk of homeownership. Landed can also be a great option in a competitive market as it allows homebuyers to put 20% down (see our post on the power of the 20% down payment). And when might a federal, city, or county program be a better fit? These programs can be a good fit when educators have less than 10% to put down and meet specific criteria (i.e. their combined household income is less than 140% area median income (AMI)) and are focusing their search within a specific city or county.

We’ve included a list of a few alternative homeownership assistance programs below. Note, that most programs cannot be “layered” or used simultaneously (i.e. you can’t use a FHA loan and Landed at the same time). We’re always available to talk through the tradeoffs of various homeownership assistance programs. Please reach out to [email protected] and we’d be happy to chat.

A short list of common federal and local homeownership assistance programs:

Federal Programs
What is an FHA Loan?
What is a VA Loan?

City and County-Wide Programs
Down payment Assistance Loan Program (DALP) (San Francisco)
Teacher Next Door Program (San Francisco)
HEART Opening Doors Program (San Mateo County)
Housing Empowerment Loan Program (HELP) (Santa Clara County, East Palo Alto, Menlo Park)
Below Market Rate Housing (Varies)